Historically corrupt public relations firms Human, Cigna, and APCO, led giant multi-million dollar efforts to plant favorable stories in the media. Former Senior Public Relations Officer, Wendell Potter described how his chief function working for two of the largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States, Human and Cigna, was to perpetuate myths that had no other purpose but to sustain those companies’ high profitability. He admits to “wining and dining” reporters from major news outlets, such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Wendell provided this insight in his new book, Deadly Spin, and apologized to film-maker Michael Moore for his involvement in de-legitimizing the documentary Sicko. Although Wendell has confessed his unethical practices, the firms continue their old ways. Michael Moore explained in a November 2010 article how APCO is leading another multi-million dollar campaign to help Wall Street earn back the trust of the American people. Moore speculates that if the public is not wary, the next economic crash will be much larger.
Sources: Moore, Michael. (2010, Nov.) “How corporate America is Pushing Us All Off a Cliff,” CommonDreams.org. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/11/19-12
Jacobson, Brad (2010, Dec 13). “Exclusive: I ‘wined and dine’ NYT & WSJ for favorable coverage, health insurance whistleblower says,” The Raw Story. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/exclusive-wined-dined-nyt-wsj-favorable-coverage-health-insurance-whistleblower/
Student Researcher: Kyle Phelix
Faculty Evaluator: Professor Brett Smith, Department of Economics & Employment Relations, SUNY Potsdam
photo from Jacobson